No SUV for me
An awareness campaign on the impacts of SUVs
Why must we take action?
Large, gas-guzzling vehicles have become the new normal on our roads. Sales of SUVs and pickup trucks have been surpassing those of cars since 2015, and the "bigger is better" trend is not letting up.
The growing preference for heavier vehicles in Quebec is cause for concern.
Pollution: The proliferation of SUVs is responsible for 55% of the increase in GHG emissions in Quebec, wiping out the benefits of zero-emission vehicles;
Pedestrian safety: Compared to cars, SUVs are involved in twice as many accidents involving pedestrians;
Household debt: The purchase cost of large vehicles exceeds that of a car by an average of $10,000.
The harmful effects of the growing trend towards SUVs and pickups are proportional to the size of these vehicles: they are far too large. Given the current climate emergency and the safety and financial issues at stake, it is high time to question and to address society’s infatuation with SUVs and other light-duty trucks.
Quebec's GHG emissions continue to rise and over half of the increase in GHG emissions is produced by SUVs and light-duty trucks. They consume an average of 20% more fuel than an equivalent car, and their sales are skyrocketing in the province.
Tackling vehicle size is therefore crucial to combating climate change.
The larger and the heavier the SUV, the greater the frequency of collisions and the higher the risk of death.
In Quebec, SUVs are twice as often involved in collisions with pedestrians than cars.
Did you know?
Accidents caused by SUVs are also 28% more deadly for other drivers involved.
The threat that large vehicles pose to other road users makes them a public health issue.
The auto industry invests heavily in the promotion of SUVs, since their purchase cost is on average $10,000 higher. They can also cost up to $4,000 more per year than a car.
Households that opt for SUVs therefore run a greater risk of indebtedness.
Is it true that some SUVs don’t use much more gas than a car?
On average, light-duty trucks, which include SUVs, burn 20% more fuel than cars and therefore emit more GHGs. There are a number of models that do consume less, but aside from the effects on the environment, SUVs have real impacts on the safety of other road users and on household debt levels.
Isn’t the high number of SUVs on the road simply a response by the manufacturers to consumer demand?
We recently analyzed automobile advertising across the country and found that 79% of the ads promoted light-duty trucks, including SUVs. Manufacturers are investing heavily in SUV advertising since they generate higher profit margins than traditional cars or electric vehicles.
Is an electric SUV a good option?
Even though they are electric, these SUVs require more raw materials in their manufacturing than traditional cars. Electric or not, an SUV has real impacts on the safety of other road users and on household debt levels.
What do you say to construction workers who require light-duty trucks and SUVs to haul heavy loads?
In Canada, 83% of light-duty trucks are not registered for commercial use. We encourage people to think about their real needs and choose their vehicles accordingly, opting for the smallest vehicle possible. For those requiring a large vehicle only a few times a year, they can always be rented when needed.
Why is Équiterre addressing the issue of vehicle size?
Mobility issues have been central to Équiterre's work since it was founded nearly 30 years ago. Various awareness campaigns have been conducted, along with research and analysis leading to advocacy for public policies in favour of lower-impact modes of transportation. Since the sale of SUVs and light-duty trucks has been the primary cause of the increase in GHG emissions in Quebec in recent years, and given their impact on the safety of other road users and on household debt levels, Équiterre feels that this is a public health issue that needs to be addressed.
In the News
The "No SUV for Me" campaign is coordinated by Équiterre with financial support from the Government of Canada.
Collaborating partners include Accès Transports Viables, the Automobile Protection Association, CAA-Quebec, the Canada Research Chair in the Mobility of People, the David Suzuki Foundation, the Fondation québécoise d'éducation en sécurité routière, HEC Montréal, Option Consommateurs and Piétons Québec.